Europe Germany North East Germany Brandenburg & Berlin
Let's introduce a new concept to you – urban glamping. No? How about if we told you your downtown dwelling lies in one of the world's most vibrant cities, within easy walking distance of such iconic sites as the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie? Still not convinced? What if we told you you'd be staying in some of the quirkiest glamping accommodation this side of the River Spree? "Mmmm...Tell me more", you say? Don't mind if we do.
When events manager Silke and interior designer Sarah first laid eyes on this former vacuum cleaner factory in Berlin's south-eastern Neukölln district, they could immediately see the potential that others could not. Combining the knowledge of their respective fields with a scavenger's resourceful eye and a whole bunch of passion, Hüttenpalast was born. Now in its fourth year, this most unique of places makes a strong case as one of the hippest holiday experiences in one of this über-cool city's hippest corners.
For those whose GCSE German was nicht sehr gut, Hüttenpalast's rather audacious moniker means 'hut palace' and is 100% justified. If you're picturing stark factory walls and bleak utilitarian decor, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Amidst the kitsch fake grass and real, fairylit silver birch trees, Hüttenpalast boasts a collection of awesomely refurbished vintage campervan/caravans-cum-rooms, wooden cabins, and even an antique wood-panelled reception room ("with roof terrace!"). Take the 'Little Sister' – a cosy cocoon finished with intricate white stone wall mosaic and crisp cotton bed sheets. Or the 'Nomad', whose elegant wooden interior belies a crazy day-glo paint job redolent of Berlin's own ubiquitous street art. Whichever madcap mobile you opt for, you'll have the run of Hüttenpalast's enormous communal living space, excellent café/restaurant, or chill on the hammock amongst the abundant greenery and vegetables of the yard – a true urban oasis.
Emerging from Hüttenpalast's distinctive candy-striped frontage, you'll be struck by just how much Neukölln has to offer. It's boho-central so expect a whole host of hipster hangouts and artsy vibes. What's more, as one of Berlin's most ethnically diverse neighbourhoods, you're spoilt for choice with places to eat – head down Karl Marx Strasse for the pick of the Turkish eateries. On a summer's day, the locals congregate in the famous former airfield Tempelhofer, now one of the city's loveliest parks. And if it rains... well, one thing's for sure; you needn't worry about your accommodation getting waterlogged.
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